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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

When you know they are really not hearing you

When you know they are not actually hearing what you say:

Maybe you read my previous post about my frustration trying to get Office 365 Premium to work.  I even resorted to getting into a conversation on their Tech Community Forum.

Here is what I said:

The booking app is essentially useless to me unless it will integrate with my regular calendar.  I read on one of your pages that there was an option to connect a staff personal calendar to the booking app, but that option is not available when I edit my staff in the booking app.

Maybe I am not understanding what you intended this app to do, but it seems like basic functionality that you would not double book appointments based on items that were already on my calendar outside of the booking calendar.

Here is the response:

Hello Wray Rives,

You have received a private message in the Microsoft Tech Community community.

Subject: Congratulations! You have a new rank in Microsoft Tech Community 
From: Michael Holste 
Date: 02-22-2017 08:25 AM 

Congratulations, Wray Rives!

As the result of your contributions to the community, you have earned a new rank. Your new rank is New Contributor.

We appreciate your efforts and hope you will continue to be an active member of the community.


The Microsoft Tech Community Team

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Microsoft Office 365-Really?

I have been a long time user of Microsoft Office apps.  I was using Microsoft Office even back in the 80's when they actually had competition in the word processing and spreadsheet software markets.

So lately I have been reading about the new improvements to Office 365, the online version.  I will on occasion use the products online, but mostly I pay for the subscription to be able to download and use the desktop products.  I do however use a lot of other online apps for things like booking appointments and managing client information.  It seems Microsoft is integrating a lot of those functions into the Office 365 business app.  Based on what I read online, I could pay Microsoft an extra $50 per year and I would get access to their Booking and Outlook Customer Manager.  I am really happy with Acuity Scheduling which I use for online appointment booking and I am satisfied with HubDoc Sales which I use as a customer relationship manager, but I do pay a lot more than $50 per year.

Microsoft has I always though had a good reputation for at least putting out solid products.  They may not always be the most cutting edge, but their products are generally solid and work well.  So last week I made the leap and cancelled my existing Office subscription and signed up for the new and improved version.

Notice that I did not say I upgraded, because there was no option to upgrade.  That should have been a red flag right away that I was going to have to eat the remainder of my old subscription which I prepaid a year for and purchase a new subscription.

Also I am a CPA and I do tax returns.  You would think I would learn my lesson about not making any changes to my workflow in the middle of tax season.  But work flow seemed like a selling feature to me, because I can get unreasonably frustrated with inefficiencies this time of year and I though going with an integrated solution would relieve some of that frustration.

I guess you see where I was going.  I was wrong and Office 365 Business Premium has been a major fail for me.  To the point that I seriously question how Microsoft is staying in business if this is indicative of the products they are putting out.

First off the email and calendar absolutely refuse to talk to Google, which is where my primary email and calendar live.  Not good.  Next, it turns out the Outlook Customer Manager that was supposed to be released back in November and touted as the next great thing, is actually no even really released.  Apparently some people have it, but not everyone and you are simply told to be patient as it will eventually show up in an update.

Then you have the booking app.  It just flat out does not work.  I now have 3 separate businesses set up under the booking app, because I kept thinking I must be doing something wrong.  Only to learn there is no function to delete a booking set up once you create it.  Isn't that like a basic function.  How do you release any product today without a delete, undo or start over functionality?

I can book appointments online, but there is no way to get the booking to look at my Office calendar.  It only looks at its own unique calendar.  So turning it on would only result in double booking me all day every day.

Doesn't Microsoft still have a lot of money?  Why could they not have just purchased a really great scheduler app and put their name on it?  There are a lot of them out there. Oh that is whole other problem.  They did do that with Skype.  Guess what the Skype you get with Office Business is not the Skype you know and love.  It is a re-branded version of Microsoft Lync and it will not share information from your old reliable Skype where you have for years accumulated contacts names and numbers.

Seriously Bill Gates, please come back.  The guys you left in charge are killing me.

Friday, February 10, 2017


So I created an Twitter account back in March of 2009.  It is interesting to see how the platform use has evolved.  For some time there is a subset of folks who are all about having a high follower to followed ratio. I call it the "I am shouting at you ratio", shouters for short.  Conversations are supposed to be two way, I listen to you and you listen to me, but if I am the only one listening, then you are just shouting at me.

Obviously celebrities have lots of people who just organically follow them. I think there was actually someone some years ago, who attempted to put a value on having a twitter account with a lot of followers and few that you followed.  I suppose that had a lot to do with probably one of the Kardashians who was getting paid to promote things by tweeting about them to her followers.

Then you get to the folks who follow you knowing that human instinct is to follow them back.  The thing is they un-follow you hoping you won't notice and so they improve their I'm shouting at you ratio.  I play the game to the extent that if someone follows me, I follow them back, but I also actually curate my followers and so when someone un-follows me, I un-follow them. The jokes on the other guy, because he can only follow a certain number of Twitter accounts in a day, so he wasted his count following me.

I also sometimes play this game with myself where I try to predict the ones who are shouters.  Like the account where her profile was "YOU FOLLOW ME-I FOLLOW YOU--YOU UNFOLLOW ME-I UNFOLLOW YOU".  Oh yea for sure you put it out there like that, she (I say she because there was a picture of a cute girl in the profile-another sure sign that there is actually some short fat dude in China behind the account) is definitely a shouter.  Sometimes people surprise you and little miss I FOLLOW was still following me a month later, but at last the short fat dude showed up and today she un-followed me, so I did the same.

Want to follow me?

I will follow back.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

No doubt an urban legend, but I like it.

I know it is one of those urban myths things that gets passed around as fact so that a bunch of gullible  people jump on the band wagon.  Not sure what it says about me that I have friends and family who foward this kind of stuff to me, but I did like this idea even if it didn't come from Mr. "Tax me More" Buffett, because I do believe members of Congress are more concerned about getting re-elected than representing our interests.

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:

"I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just pass a  law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of  GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.
The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified!  Why? Simple!   The people demanded it. That was in 1971 - before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.
Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year or less to become the law of the land - all because of public pressure.
Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.
In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message.  This is one idea that really should be passed around.
Congressional Reform Act of 2012
1.       No Tenure / No Pension.
2.       A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they're out of office. 
3.       Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
4.       All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
5.       Congress can purchase their own retirement plan,  just as all
Americans do.
6.       Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
7.       Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
8.       Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
9.       All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 12/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.

Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message.  Don't you think it's time?